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What Features Should You Consider When Selecting a Dental X-ray Machine?


As a dental professional, you need the ability to accurately diagnose patient conditions and plan their treatment, and a dental X-ray machine makes that possible. However, with the wide variety of options on the market, it can be hard to know exactly what you need. While shopping, you may want to keep the following features and considerations in mind.

Ease of Use

There is always a learning curve with new equipment, but a quality dental X-ray machine should be intuitive and easy to use. Before buying a machine, you may want to read reviews and look closely at how easy the machine and its software is to use. You may also want to buy from an established dental X-ray dealer or manufacturer for new dental equipment, or a reputable company such as Renew Digital for pre-owned dental equipment. This vendor and/or manufacturer should be able to provide onsite training and ongoing service and support to help minimize the learning curve.

Quality Brands

The equipment manufacturer is also a factor to consider. Ideally, you want a quality manufacturer that has a reputation for providing top notch equipment that produces high quality results. Some of the newer, less established dental equipment manufacturers offer new dental X-ray equipment at much lower prices with extra-long warranties. It seems like you’re getting a bargain, but keep in mind that these companies sometimes cannot offer support, onsite service, or replacement parts that you need in a timely and efficient manner. If you are buying a used dental X-ray, make sure that you work with a company that offers certified pre-owned equipment. That way you can rest assured that all of their machines meet the manufacturers’ requirements and have all of the applicable updates.

2D vs 3D Capability

Digital panoramic and cephalometric systems have largely replaced most traditional film and phosphor plate units of the past. But, believe it or not, there are still some film X-ray systems still in use today. If your general or specialty practice is ready to take the leap into the digital age, there are more 2D digital panoramic options than ever. Make sure you work with a company that can help streamline your search and recommend the 2D system that’s right for you and your practice.

Dental cone beam is rapidly becoming the standard of care in dental and dental specialty applications. There are many proven situations where 3D imaging can significantly improve diagnoses, treatment planning, and patient care. Sometimes, however, 3D images are not required and 2D X-rays can provide enough information to properly treat your patients. In that case, you may want to select a hybrid panoramic/cone beam system with dedicated 2D panoramic capabilities.

Cephalometric Upgradeability

When purchasing a dental panoramic X-ray machine, you need to think about your practice needs both now and in the future. If you are considering adding an orthodontist or pediatric dentist to the practice, you may want to select a digital X-ray machine that may be upgraded to capture cephalometric X-rays later. Most manufacturers offer panoramic X-ray machines to which a cephalometric attachment can be added. But, be aware that not all digital panoramic X-rays can be upgraded with a ceph, so be sure to ask.

Cone Beam/3D Upgradeability

If you’re not ready to invest in cone beam imaging, but it’s something you’ll likely want to implement in the future, then you may want to consider purchasing a 2D dental X-ray machine that can be upgraded to 3D imaging later. Many manufacturers such as Planmeca, Carestream, and Sirona offer upgradeable models. That way, you can minimize your initial investment and carefully use your capital dollars to upgrade to CBCT when your practice needs change.

Extraoral Bitewings

One of the most requested features for today’s dental X-ray machines is extraoral bitewings. Extraoral bitewings is a bitewing-like view captured by a dental panoramic X-ray machine and can be a convenient alternative to intraoral bitewings for patients with smaller mouths or a sensitive gag reflex. This feature can help improve patient care and comfort when intraoral bitewings are not possible or easy to capture.

Responsible Vendor

Also consider the company from which you are buying the equipment. You should choose a company that is experienced in dental X-ray equipment, that can answer your questions, and that can guide you through the process. If you decide to buy certified pre-owned equipment, you may also want to choose a company that may trade-in used equipment that they sell. That way, when you are ready to upgrade in the future, you can continue to use that company.

To find a quality used dental X-ray machine, look through our online options. Or, contact us at Renew Digital directly with your questions.

What Features Should You Consider When Selecting a Dental X-ray Machine? Read More »

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